Luna, a Red Cross aid worker, has shown the world the solidarity and work of many Spanish social workers who this week experienced one of their hardest moments with their arrival in the Spanish city of Ceuta, in North Africa, than 8,000 irregular immigrants from Morocco.
What happened in Ceuta left the drama of immigration in pictures, but also indirectly revealed the great work of these aid workers who say that what has happened these days is “an unprecedented diplomatic and humanitarian crisis.”
The photograph taken by the EFE agency and other media went viral in just minutes.
In it, a Red Cross volunteer comforted one of the migrants, in this case a Senegalese, who, exhausted, had reached the Spanish coast.
The meeting showed the harshest face of migration, but also the worst facet of social networks in which Luna suffered personal attacks that forced him to close his internet presence, something that was echoed by dozens of international media.
“It is very sad because we are developing our work, Luna did nothing but do her job, perfectly and without receiving anything in return, well in this case she has received all these criticisms,” explains Isabel Brasero, a Red Cross worker in Ceuta.
Spain deployed its army to the Moroccan border on Tuesday as thousands of migrants jumped fences and swam on European soil for the second day in a row after Rabat loosened border controls amid a deepening diplomatic dispute.
WHO IS LUNA?
Luna Reyes is 20 years old and from Madrid, but she was on the Spanish island of Ceuta to do internships with the Red Cross to complete her university studies in Social Integration, according to Spanish media.
Due to the threats he received for his supportive embrace of the man, Reyes has given few interviews but in one he said to RTVE that “I just gave him a hug.”
The young woman told the Spanish channel that she never managed to know the man’s name, who was returned to his country.
Migratory pressure fell this Wednesday on the border between Spain and Morocco in the North African city of Ceuta, with just a few dozen immigrants trying to reach Spanish territory by swimming, a situation very different from the 8,000 people who arrived two days ago, more than half of which have been returned to their country.
“He spoke to me in French and numbered with the fingers of his hand. I did not understand anything, but I am convinced that he was listing the friends he has lost along the way,” she added to RTV.
Reyes has been surprised by the reaction that her hug has unleashed, both for the positive messages as well as the personal attacks she has received on social networks.
In response, the Spanish Red Cross wrote on Twitter that they are “an organization in which there are many Moons, who daily help people like those who come to Ceuta. Or Arguineguín. Or the Canary Islands. Or who are in your neighborhood. Around the world”.
CRISIS IN CEUTA: 8,000 PEOPLE FLEEING POVERTY
Around 8,000 people entered Ceuta this week, groups of people with different contexts and life projects who are now hiding from the Spanish Police so as not to be expelled.
For social worker Marina Pérez, this is “without a doubt an unprecedented diplomatic and humanitarian crisis” that “had never been experienced before.”
“They began to enter on Sunday, Monday increased considerably and Tuesday was the most chaotic day,” says this young woman who since then has focused her work on serving “people from the most vulnerable groups.”
According to the chief of the Sunland Park Fire Department in New Mexico, during the last six months there has been an increase in incidents related to falls of migrants who have tried to enter the United States through the border wall.
“We did not expect this arrival, from that moment of uncertainty we went into disarray, there was no response that took into account the different cases of people and now we feel frustration, because we do not see that the institutions are giving an adequate response,” explains the lawyer from Andalucía Acoge, Inmaculada González.
CRISTIANO RONALDO AND MESSI DO NOT LIVE IN CEUTA
The only ones who are not being expelled from the city are the 850 minors who entered this week, who were housed in a ship and many of them, according to a volunteer told Efe, were tricked into crossing since they were told that in the Spanish city could see footballers Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Red Cross is taking care of these boys with the support of the Army, which provides them with bunk beds. In addition to taking care of their accommodation and meals, Spanish Police officers test them for the coronavirus and, in some cases, others to determine if they are over 18 years old.
“An uncertain future awaits the minors, there has been talk of referring 200 to different communities, something that they should do from our point of view, because the conditions in the warehouse are not adequate, they are overcrowded,” says Pérez.
Many arrive with the devices that protect them from drug hitmen, according to the coyotes.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.